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Slow UK Broadband Might be Detrimental to Your Mental Health

Thursday, Aug 4th, 2016 (3:43 pm) - Score 997

UK ISP TalkTalk has stepped up their Fix Britain’s Internet campaign against Openreach (BT) today by claiming that 4 million Brits report experiencing stress and anxiety due to slow and unreliable broadband.

Apparently the study, which is based on a survey of 2,000 adults conducted by Bilendi between 26th and 27th July 2016, found that 56% have been unable to perform “simple online tasks” (e.g. remote working, streaming films, Skype calls etc.) due to poor Internet connections.

Elsewhere a quarter said the frustration caused by slow Internet connectivity was comparable to public transport delays and 1 in 7 believe it induces the same level of stress as being on a long-haul flight next to screaming children. Overall one in four Brits claim to be unhappy with their Internet service and one in eight (13%) believe that it’s actually getting worse.

Dr David Lewis, Neuroscientist, said:

“The tortoise-like speed of a poor broadband connection doesn’t just a waste our time, it can also be detrimental to our physical and mental health. My own lab’s scientific research has proved that when Internet connections slow to a crawl in the middle of completing an online task, we experience significant increases in blood pressure and heart rate, impaired reasoning and decision-making, growing anxiety, intense frustration and even incidents of ‘computer rage’.”

Reality check. Let’s face it, a lot of things could similarly be described as “detrimental” to your “physical and mental health,” such as running up a bad debt, being stuck in rush hour traffic, suffering damage to your car, watching Question Time on the BBC, chasing after your kids in the middle of a busy city, writing ISP news sites, suffering massive cyber security breaches (TalkTalk) and discussing Brexit with friends. Frankly we should all be basket cases.

All of this is designed to support TalkTalk’s joint campaign with Vodafone, Sky Broadband, XLN and the Federation of Communication Services, which is essentially encouraging consumers to criticise the quality of Openreach’s network as part of Ofcom’s Strategic Review and to push for them to be split from BT’s control.

Mind you it’s notable that TalkTalk don’t specifically pledge to make all these woes a thing of the past if Openreach is completely separated from BT’s control and that’s because such a commitment would be almost impossible to deliver. Even the countries with the best infrastructure still have plenty of Internet problems.

By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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